WPHS - News You Choose 12/8/23

To read this newsletter in other languages, please visit our website.

Para leer este boletín en otros idiomas, visite nuestro sitio web.

School Seal

Table of Contents:

  • Important Dates
  • Principal’s Message
  • Important Impact Aid Updates
  • School News
  • PTSA News 
  • School Fundraisers
  • Class of 2025 Information
  • Class of 2024 Information & Fundraisers

Important Dates

  • December 9th: Class of 2025 Parents Night Out 5:00-8:30 (flyer below)
  • December 12th:  PTSA December Meeting - 6:30 PM, WP Library
  • December 14th:  Class of 2024 McAllister’s Restaurant Night
  • December 14th: 7:00 PM - West Potomac Music Department holiday concert with performances from the orchestra, chorus, band, and guitar programs.  There will be a Holiday Market taking place before and after the concert, to allow concertgoers to shop and socialize!
  • December 14th: Virtual Opioid Overdose & Naloxone Education training, 1:00 pm
  • December 15th: Last day of Class of 2024 Krispy Kreme fundraiser
  • January 3rd: Virtual Opioid Overdose & Naloxone Education training, 6:00 pm
  • January 9th: Curriculum Night/Rising 9th Grade Family Night/Electives Open House
  • January 23rd: FAFSA/VASA completion workshop at West Potomac High School 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • January 27th: Mock SAT No Essay
  • January 30th – Gap Year Fair, George C Marshall High School, 6:00-8:00 pm
  • February 17th: Mock SAT No Essay and ACT Mock
  • SAT Spring Group Class starts 3/9/24 and preps for the 6/1/24 official SAT test (digital version). Laptops required for classes and mocks.
  • ACT Spring Group Class starts 3/9/24 and preps for the 6/8/24 official ACT test.


Principal’s Message

Dear Wolverines,

Wow, only a week left till Winter Break.  I feel truly lucky to be back at West Potomac in this fabulous school community. 


This week, I have been able to get into more classes and see all the amazing things our teachers are doing to help our students be successful.  As I think about everything going on in our nation, I would like to focus on the amazing instruction and relationship building I have seen each day.  West Potomac has wonderful students and fabulous teachers.  We are truly lucky. 

Congratulations to our folks that were acknowledged by FCPS Cares:

  •  Alicia Day Javkhlan- Day led her orchestra in a fantastic holiday celebration as part of the community Nutcracker performance. The orchestra performed while students danced, and it was such a beautiful way to highlight the incredible talent at West Potomac HS. Ms. Day is selfless with her time and talent to showcase our students and community. Thanks for all you do!
  •  Courtney Betzel- Courtney has been working all fall to prepare her students to be highlighted in the community presentation of the Nutcracker. For many of these students, this is a unique opportunity to showcase their talents and is an invaluable experience as they learn how productions are formed from conception of ideas and choreography to production of the incredible show. Courtney is not only empowering students to showcase their talents, but she is giving them real world opportunities in the arts, opportunities that they would not have without the academy program. Her choreography is incredible but her dedication to the students is the most special part of the program, and they all shine on stage and off. Thank you, Courtney!

This information is posted on the December 2023 FCPS CARES webpage, accessible at https://www.fcps.edu/news/fcps-cares-december-2023   . Thank you for your excellent service to FCPS and best wishes for continued success.

Below is a reminder from FCPS: 

  • Winter break will be held from Monday, December 18, to Monday, January 1. To help make sure our families have a restful break, we ask that no homework be assigned during this time. Teachers may assign long-range assignments in the weeks ahead of the break — allowing students to practice time management skills — but no assignments will be due immediately following the break. 

As we move into our final week before the winter break, I hope we can all think about putting kindness at the forefront of who we are as Wolverines.    I am so proud to lead this school community and cannot wait for more visits to classes and future events.  I will be at the PTSA meeting on Tuesday December 12 at 6:30 here at West Potomac High School. Come out and say hello.  After break, I will host a couple more events to introduce myself to more students, parents and staff.  Have a great weekend!

Jessica Statz, Principal


Chronic Absenteeism

Important Impact Aid Updates

  • Did you know that Impact Aid programs and grants are designed to assist local school districts that enroll federally connected students?
  • The grants from these programs are critical to ensuring that all children in FCPS receive an excellent education. FCPS uses the Student-Parent Survey for Federal Impact Aid to identify federally connected students and to support our request for Impact Aid resources.
  • The Student- Parent Survey for Federal Impact Aid can be accessed online this year through ParentVUE, and a paper copy has been given to students to bring home.  
  • Please help us by completing the Student-Parent Survey for Federal Impact Aid online or, by completing and returning the paper copy to school by Monday, December 11.

School News

Holiday Concert

SAT and ACT Test Prep News!


  • SAT Winter Group Class starts 12/2/23 and preps for 3/9/24 official SAT test (digital version). Register NOW! You can always take the 12/2 mock test online “on-demand” over winter break if you have a schedule conflict on 12/2. Laptops required for classes and mocks.
  • SAT Spring Group Class starts 3/9/24 and preps for the 6/1/24 official SAT test (digital version). Laptops required for classes and mocks.ACT
  • Spring Group Class starts 3/9/24 and preps for the 6/8/24 official ACT test.
  • MOCK TESTS OFFERED: SAT and ACT mock tests are offered starting 12/2/23 through 5/18/24. Full schedule HERE
  • Scholarships for Classes and Mock Tests WPHS student need-based scholarships for mocks and classes are available through the College and Career Center Specialist, Karen B, Young, kbyoung1@fcps.edu.

Test optional does not mean test blind! Many students still provide test scores with their college applications. Test scores are used for admissions, scholarships, and class placement. Take a mock test to see if you’re in the scholarship range or just a prep class away from that range. Test optional means YOU CHOOSE whether or not to send your scores. A good test score can only strengthen your application

Mock Tests – Find out how you’d score! Mock Tests ($23.00): Practice your skills under realistic testing conditions. Take mocks of both ACT and Digital SAT relatively close together to determine your test strength/preference. Focus your test prep on your strength!

Students from other schools welcome – invite your friends!

More details on the PTSA TEST PREP web page.

PTSA Test Prep Chair – Marilyn Aboff, marilynaboff@yahoo.com


  • Looking for a flexible and part-time position at West Potomac High School? FCPS is hiring AVID tutors for the 2023-2024 school year.  AVID tutors work with small groups of approximately 5-7 students during the school day in an academic elective class called Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). These groups use questioning strategies to help students develop a variety of college preparatory skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Tutors earn $18.97 per hour and should either be a college graduate or currently enrolled in college. If interested, please email your resume to Lisa Shields at lbshields@fcps.edu or AVID@fcps.edu

Military-Connected Youth Process Action Team 2023-24

Family Member Application


Mental Health, Coping & Addiction

  • One in four Americans suffer from a mental illness. Almost 3 in 5 people with mental health challenges will not receive treatment or medication. In 2019, an estimated 19% of adults in the United States (47.6 million) dealt with a mental health challenge, but only 43% received any kind of mental health care (Johns Hopkins). People often turn to alternative methods to cope with issues that are uncomfortable topics to speak about. These reasons include turning to drugs, alcohol, food, etc. Coping mechanisms are habits formed over time that serve to help a person manage difficult situations or high stress levels. These mind-altering substances are sometimes used as coping mechanisms for stress, difficult emotions, physical ailments, focusing, and other issues. Drugs and alcohol can provide a temporary moment away from the reality of everyday life. Substances can enhance the feelings of pleasure, decrease feelings of anxiety and restraint. Substance use can be an unhealthy coping mechanism. Not all coping mechanisms are destructive or fail to provide appropriate or adequate adjustment to the environment or situation; however, addiction is both.
  • Before using drugs as a coping strategy here are some recommendations for a healthier mindset. The main goal is to identify the “void” or issue and work towards healing. In the meantime, experts recommend diet and exercise as great places to start. Schedule a visit to your Primary Care Physician and a Professional Counselor if needed. Quality sleep is also a major factor in the stabilization of a healthy mind. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and good examples. Keep in mind that finding balance in life is an ongoing process. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270.


Substance Use Disorder info

FCPS Social Work

For further information & support:

Elizabeth Knudson, MA, NCC, LPC

Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist


College and Career Center 


2024 FCPS Gap Year Fair:

The FCPS School Counseling Services Office and Go Overseas are co-hosting the annual FCPS Gap Year Fair on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, at George C. Marshall High School from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.  This event is for high school students and parents who are interested in learning more about the growing array of gap year opportunities.  The evening will begin with a presentation in the auditorium from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Immediately following, the program fair will be held in the cafeteria from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., with representatives from over 30 programs offering gap year opportunities.  Students and their families are encouraged to meet the representatives and learn about the variety of experiences available. 

Students are encouraged to pre-register for this event.  For more information, visit: USA Gap Year Fairs or FCPS Gap Year Fair.

**In the event of inclement weather on Tuesday, January 30, 2024. The Gap Year Fair will be held on Thursday, February 1, 2024, at the same time and location.

Gap Year

New Date Added for Apprenticeship 101: 

Do you have a senior or junior interested in the skilled trades?  Apprenticeship 101 is a pre-apprenticeship class for construction offered by FCPS Adult & Community Education (ACE).  Topics will include basic safety, hand & power tools, introduction to construction drawings, construction careers and more. Call ACE Registration at 703-658-1201 to take advantage of the reduced rate.  Students can register for the winter or summer session. See the flyer for additional details.

Apprenticeship 101

FAFSA/VASA Resource:

The Office of Federal Student Aid announced that the FAFSA will open by December 31, 2023.  Our Financial Aid Champion Mrs. Rowsey will be in the College & Career Center every Thursday during each lunch to help seniors set up their FSA ID. Seniors will need their computer and social security number.  Appointments are not required. See the flyer for Ms. Rowsey’s weekly visit schedule. 


Save the Date:  FAFSA/VASA Completion Event

College Access Fairfax will host a FAFSA/VASA completion workshop at West Potomac High School on January 23rd from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.  It is being offered to seniors and parents of seniors who may need assistance in completing the student’s 2024-2025 FAFSA or VASA financial aid application.  The event will be held in the West Potomac HS library. Seniors and parents can go to the College Access Fairfax website at https://collegeaccessfairfax.org/  for details about the event. 

 Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Info Sessions:

NOVA will host virtual sessions to give an opportunity for seniors and their families to learn about the numerous opportunities, services & resources offered. Please see the flyer for registration links.


  • December 12, 2023 (7:00pm)
  • January 23, 2024 (4:30pm)
  • February 20, 2024 (7:00pm) (Spanish Session)
  • March 19, 2024 (4:30pm)


PTSA Meeting:  Dec. 12, 2023 - 6:30 PM   WPHS Library. 

  • Ho Ho Ho from Quander Pole. Please join us at our last PTSA meeting of 2023.  Principal Jessica Statz will be in attendance to meet our many amazing Wolverine families and students.  Mr. McMahon will provide updates on academic advising and course selection for 2024-25 SY which begins in January - in addition to the core classes, did you know that WP offers a vast selection of electives including visual arts, marketing education, music, TV & Media production, and so much more.   Free candy canes to the first 50 Wolverine elves.  Can't wait to see you all....

The PTSA is thrilled to announce that this holiday season, we are bringing you a special way to show your school spirit and add a festive touch to your decorations. Introducing the West Potomac HS Ornaments!

Ornament Details:

  • Price: $15 per ornament
  • Ornament Style: 3-inch full-color round ceramic
  • Comes with a silver cord for easy hanging.
  • Ornaments are in stock and available for pick up, just in time to kick off the holiday season with a touch of WP spirit.

Don't miss this opportunity to adorn your home with West Potomac pride. These ornaments are in limited supply, so be sure to order yours soon!

Pick-up details will be sent after purchase. To place your order, please click below: https://westpotomacptsa.memberhub.com/store/items/948818



  • Your membership dues are used to directly benefit our Wolverine teachers and students.
  • At the site, you can purchase memberships, make tax-deductible donations, and purchase WPHS car magnets (new design). If you want to learn more or join our PTSA this year, please visit this link 

School Fundraisers  

Orchestra Fundraiser:


Class of 2025 News

  • SIGN UP TODAY!! The Junior class will be hosting a Parents’ Night Out on December 9th. All proceeds will benefit the Class of 2025.

  • JOIN our Facebook page! “West Potomac HS-Class of 2025”


    This is a private group for parents and students. Please answer the questions to be allowed to join
  • SAVE the Date! Juniors & Seniors are invited to PROM on 4/20/23 at the Torpedo Factory!
Parents Night Out

Class of 2024

Class of 2024 Krispy Kreme fundraiser : 11/21 – 12/15 .. Pick up donuts for your holiday parties and support the Class of 2024 at the same time!!!  Scan the qr code, place your order, pick it up on the way to your holiday party and support the class of 2024 at the same time!!!

Krispy Kreme
  • McAllister’s Restaurant Night on Wednesday, December 13th! Take a night off from cooking and help us raise funds for our upcoming Senior Class events.
  • Senior Dues : $80 .. pay via my school bucks. Hard deadline to pay is May 1st. Contact Ms. Simpson at jsimpson1@fcps.edu or Ms. Hackshaw at chackshaw@fcps.edu  if you have any questions
  • Cap and Gown orders : Don’t forget to place your cap and gown order by December 15th ! Fill out the google form to place your order !
  • We are challenging all Senior families to donate $24 for their student! Please consider donating to our $24 before ‘24! Campaign. Help the Class of 2024 raise funds for the Senior Bash in June by donating $24 before January 1, 2024! Help us achieve our goal by clicking on the link below to donate today!
  • https://westpotomacptsa.memberhub.com/store/items/963987

    $24 before ‘24 CHALLENGE


Senior Parents:

  • Please check out & join the WPHS Class of 2024 Facebook & Instagram group. It’s a great way to keep updated on all the upcoming events, information & opportunities that pertain to this year. We will have several volunteer opportunities throughout the school year for our Senior events & activities. We want to make this the BEST year for our 2024 seniors!!




  • Please also consider supporting our Wolverine Seniors by purchasing a WPHS Class of 2024 Christmas ornament. Your purchase directly benefits the Class of 2024 events